Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Another Trip to Blue Sun Soda Shop (to see their new addition)

My wife and my youngest son are gone for a few days, so I took my 5-year-old to Blue Sun Soda Shop with me after school yesterday. We hadn't been there since they added on:

Blue Sun Soda Shop
Looking in to Blue Sun's NEW ADDITION!

 At the end of the carpet in that photo above (under the blue trim), there used to be a wall. Now it looks into 3 other rooms: the first is an odd transitional room with a few soda shelves, the second has some pinball machines and an old truck, and the third is the biggest and is full of candy!

Blue Sun Soda Shop - pinball machines.
My son played a dozen games of FREE pinball (3 free machines, and 1 that's a quarter).


The new candy room addition.

More of the candy room from the back corner.

We love Cow Tails in this household! Happy to see this.

Back in the "soda" part of the store, they had an end cap with all "Christmas-related" sodas.
I grabbed a bottle of the white "Candy Cane Shake." Will probably be gross. But that's OK.

ALL root beer. After picking this over yesterday, I *think* I've had (or just purchased) all of these. Really.

Henry by the old truck loaded with soda. There's a room behind the truck that still needs to be finished.

"Fancy" sodas that cost a bit more. I grabbed a red one on the left which was made in Germany.

Some of their Minnesota-made "Whistler" bottles.

Henry thought all the orange sodas looked tasty!

They had an artist painting parts of the new addition outside.

Henry eating a marshmallow treat, with "mini sodas" in his lap.
(And yes, I pulled his buckle up before we drove off.)

My receipt. The $4.29 bottle was the German soda. With the case discount, it was
about $2/bottle on average (under $2/bottle ave without the German soda).

My 26 sodas at home. Almost half are root beer or sarsaparilla, and the rest are random.

Alright, time for some sugary deliciousness!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

CideRoad Organic Blueberry Switchel

I was walking through Lunds earlier today, and I saw these:

CideRoad Organic Switchels

CideRoad Organic Blueberry Switchel
So I grabbed the blueberry one.

First of all, what is this? I had to look up "Switchel." Apparently, it's this:
Switchel, also switzel, swizzle, ginger-water, haymaker's punch or switchy, is a drink made of water mixed with vinegar, and often seasoned with ginger. Honey, sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup were sometimes used to sweeten the drink instead of molasses.
This one has water, sugar, vinegar, maple syrup, and some fruit juices (including some ginger). It's not a soda, but it's not a traditional "healthy" drink because it only has 2% of your daily allowance of Vitamin C and Calcium. It is labeled as 14% juice. So what the heck is it? Well... it's switchel, I guess.

Brand: CideRoad Organic Blueberry Switchel.

Origin: Mendham, NJ.

Purchase Place: Lunds Grocery Store, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Syrup and Maple Syrup.

Review: I don't think I've mentioned this here before, but I'm not a fan of kombucha. I can't stand it. My wife loves it, so it's around a lot. Well, this is a bit like a "tame" kombucha. The "tang" that this CideRoad drink has is kombucha-like, but not as overly harsh. I can taste the ginger, but it's not overwhelming. The blueberry is nice. If a "tame" kombucha sounds good to you, give this a try. It would be refreshing for the right person. I just thought it was OK.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Kutztown Root Beer

Being it's nearing the end of the semester, my students have a lot of work time on their final 2 projects. That (usually) means I bring a soda to class to sip on if helping my students gets a little slow. This week, it was this root beer:

Kutztown Root Beer

Kutztown Root Beer
A close-up of the label being it's so dark and hard to see in the top photo.

Brand: Kutztown Root Beer.

Origin: Kutztown, PA.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: This was OK. Just OK. Nothing fancy. It had a SLIGHTLY burnt taste, but it wasn't overpowering. Otherwise, it's relatively smooth with just a slight anise flavor and really no head. It went down pretty easy. I'll give this a slightly above average score based on that last point.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

North Star Craft Soda Black Cherry

I did lots of cooking recently, and I enjoyed this as I worked:

North Star Craft Soda Black Cherry

Brand: North Star Craft Soda Black Cherry.

Origin: Forest Lake, MN.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: This was pretty good! It had a very deep black cherry flavor that I liked very much. It was quite sweet and sugary (maybe too much for some people). No major complaints from me.

Score: 8 out of 10.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda

Happy (day after) Thanksgiving!  I thought I'd try an appropriately seasonal soda today:

Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda

I let my son try a sip.
He thought it was good. (But he never gets soda, so that's not worth much.)

Brand: Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda.

Origin: Portland, Maine.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Fair Trade Certified organic cane juice (sheesh).

Review: I was ready to not like this. I mean, it sounds kinda gross. But I was intrigued because it only had 3 ingredients: carbonated water, Fair Trade Certified organic cane juice, and spices. Turns out, it was OK. It didn't REALLY taste like pumpkin pie, but it was herby and spicy like a real flavorful pumpkin pie is. It SMELLED really like pumpkin pie. It wasn't bad. I mean, it wasn't GREAT either, but it was one of the better "novelty" sodas that I've had. And, as seen above, my 5-year-old liked it.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Stewart's Root Beer

I cracked this open at the end of long Saturday night:

Stewart's Root Beer

Brand: Stewart's Root Beer.

Origin: Plano, Texas.

Purchase Place: Kowalski's, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: This had a deep flavor that was quite good. It's smooth with a bit of vanilla and just a hint of anise. Rich, tasty, and pretty darn good. No big complaints!

Score: 9 out of 10.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Virgil's Zero Root Beer

I opened this up with lunch today:

Virgil's Zero Root Beer

Brand: Virgil's Zero Root Beer

Origin: Los Angeles, CA.

Purchase Place: Kowalski's, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Stevia.

Review: This had a deep flavor, but slightly too much anise (which is what I thought of their regular root beer too). I wasn't a fan. Even though it had a deep flavor, it was still weak. There was an odd berry flavor in there that was OK (and unexpected - maybe the Stevia?), but that the was most this had to offer. Giving it an average score.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fitz's Orange Pop

I opened this up with supper tonight:

Fitz's Orange Pop

Brand: Fitz's Orange Pop.

Origin: St. Louis, MO.

Purchase Place: Frattallone's Ace Hardware, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: Ehhh, this was OK. Nothing special. It had a bit more of a "bite" than I expected from an orange soda, and that was about it. Otherwise, it was "orangey."

Score: 5 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Filbert's Black Cherry

After a 6K Cross Country race this past weekend, I cracked into this:

Filbert's Black Cherry

Brand: Filbert's Black Cherry.

Origin: Chicago, IL.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Review: This was decent, but nothing special. It had a "tang" to it that was a bit unexpected. I prefer a "smoother" black cherry, but this was OK. I'll give it an average score.

Score: 5 out of 10.